500g firm fish steaks (cod, snapper)
1.5 tbsp tamarind pulp
1 stalk of lemongrass, peeled and sliced
4 dried red chilies, soaked and drained
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 shallots or 1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp turmeric
6 curry leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
250ml coconut milk
Remove any skin of bones from the fish and cut into bite-sized pieces. Soak the tamarind pulp in 125ml boiling water and leave for 10 minutes. Knead to dissolve, then strain the tamarind water and set aside. Grind, pound or blend the lemongrass, drained chilies, ginger, garlic and shallots together to make a paste.
Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and fry the chili paste for 5 minutes, stirring, until fragrant. Add the coriander, cumin, fennel, turmeric, curry leaves, salt and sugar, then slowly add the coconut milk, stirring. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Add the tamarind water and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly. To serve, add the fish and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until just cooked.
Start with a spicy chicken soup or spring rolls. Serve fish curry with plenty of rice and a stir-fried green vegetable such as green beans or water spinach.
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